Kebede Chane, Minister of Trade Opening on the International Conference on Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices sector with the theme of “Ethiopia Land of Crop Diversity” (February 2012)
Dear Conference Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, I would like to express my great pleasure to welcome the entire delegates to the first of its kind conference for the country in Pulses, Oilseeds and Spice sector with the theme of “Ethiopia Land of Crop Diversity”.
As you are aware, Ethiopia has made impressive progress in tackling poverty in recent years. Human development indicators of both income and non-income parameters are showing rapid improvement and the country has been gearing appropriately towards meeting man of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Such remarkable growth occurs in virtue of the fact that the Government of Ethiopia has shown full commitment to underpin sound guiding principles consistently in managing the overall development endeavors of the country through laying down appropriate sector policies and strategies.
At the time the first Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP) was issued in 2002, the Government already had in place a broad strategy and theSustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP) largely reflected the on going commitments. The plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP) also represents an evolution towards new policy directions, and was increasingly the over-arching framework for programming and policies. On the basis of the experiences gained from past planned periods and country’s vision, Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) has been prepared as the country’s five-year plan.
During all these plan periods, agriculture is the back bone sector of the economy and it is high priority and strategic sector in the country. Accordingly, the government further took a number of reform measures in the past years to enhance the contribution of the sector. Following these reform measures, the economy registered uninterrupted double digit growth for the past eight years. Therefore, the sector plays a central role in our concerted effort to trigger transformation and create a nation of being on of the middle income countries.
Apparently, the Government of Ethiopia is working hard towards this end. As part of Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) targets for agriculture and rural development, the production of pulses, oilseeds and spices would double by 2014/15 and agriculture will continue to be the major source of economic growth. In this regard, various measures have been taken in order to create an enabling environment, especially with a view of encouraging and supporting the private sector.
Appropriate action are taken to improve the situation. For instance, easy access and entry into the sector; expansion of production possibility; quality improvement and value additions; modernizing marketing systems; and widening financing opportunity are some of the measures that could be mentioned.
More interventions shall be taken in light of ensuring further improvements with a view of attaining the targets set on the Growth and Transformation Plan in a way forward.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I believe that this conference is timely and important as it is being conveyed during the time when the Government of Ethiopia is engaged in a holistic and integrated transformational initiative with a view of ensuring the renaissance of the nation. I would like to express our commitment to boost the potential of the sector and thereby making it more vibrant to meet the needs of international markets.
I believe that this conference will offer one of the best platforms for all stakeholders; producers, exporters and buyers of pulses, oilseeds and spices, not only to strengthen your business linkage with our exporters, but also to observe and witness the current reality and how the country is moving forward. In this regard I urge you to feel free and tell us openly the areas you would like us to focus on our subsequent interventions.
In the same vein, I urge our exporters to pay due attention on such basic feedbacks that may come from our respected guests inline with the areas where more interventions are needed to further improve the operation of the sector.
To maintain the continuity of the conference, I am happy to confirm that the Government of Ethiopia is determined to provide all the necessary supports required to convey the conference on an annual basis.
Therefore, let me take this opportunity to call on our distinguished guests to note this conference by putting it on their annual travel calendar.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Eventually, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the conference notably Ministry of Trade, Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA) and others for their commendable achievement. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all collaborators who made the conference a reality.
I wish you a fruitful conference deliberation.
Finally, I declare the conference is officially open.
I thank you!
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